Animal Rescue: Pooches best left home from parades _lowres

Photo by Suzanne C Grim -- This handsome fellow lives up to his name: He loves to play, but loves even more to win and (nicely) boss the other kittens around. He calls out to humans for extra attention, and he's irresistibly fuzzy. So come meet Chief and play at 271 Plauche St., New Orleans. The adoption fee is $100 and includes neuter, shots, a combo test and a chip. For more information contact arnokitty@yahoo.com

The biggest party in New Orleans is well underway, and while we thoroughly enjoy Carnival and all the sights and sounds it has to offer, the festivities can be very scary and stressful for animals. As you head out this weekend to enjoy the superkrewes, I strongly recommend leaving the pets safe and secure at home.

The loud noises of the sirens and marching bands can be frightening to many animals. Crowds can be overwhelming, and the potential to lose a pet is greater when there are hundreds of people around. If a pet gets lost on a parade route, it will be quite the adventure to try to find it.

Also, surrounding paradegoers may not be pet-friendly, could be intoxicated or have small children that are fearful of animals, and it’s best not to put a pet in a situation where it can be harmed or harm a person. Even if the family dog is not a biter, when put in a stressful environment, it may bite out of fear.

Those who live on or near the parade routes and have guests over may want to consider keeping pets in a room behind closed doors or sending them to stay at a friend or relative’s home, safe and away from the action.

Several pet boarding facilities in the New Orleans area also are available to house pets safely during Mardi Gras.

People going in and out of the front door create an opportunity for a pet to escape. While many pet owners are mindful of where their animals are when the door is open, their guests may not be as cautious. In addition, having a home full of guests may become overwhelming for pets, and even those that do not have a tendency to bolt may try to escape the situation.

While we love our pets and want them to enjoy Carnival, know that they will enjoy it the most in the safety and security of a home where they are sheltered from the activities.

Events

Register now for the Louisiana SPCA’s Critter Cinema, taking place Feb. 13. Critter Cinema will be held at the Louisiana SPCA, 1700 Mardi Gras Blvd., from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Great fun for animal-loving, pizza-eating, movie-watching kids. What better way to end the week than getting cozy with kitties and puppies, enjoying G-rated critter movies, making friends with other young animal lovers and snacking on pizza and popcorn at the Louisiana SPCA. For kids ages 5-10, feel free to bring a sleeping bag, pillow and PJs. $35 per child. Pre-registration is required, please call (504) 368-5191, ext. 207 or email erica@la-spca.org. For more info visit www.la-spca.org/crittercinema.